Intelligent scheduling optimizes your resources. Intelligent scheduling software uses predictive analytics to establish both predictable and “unpredictable” events so as to yield a realistic schedule that can be continuously optimized.
Intelligent scheduling is perhaps the most critical functionality that has been missing from the feature set for field service activities and processes in other systems, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), enterprise asset management (EAM), or customer relationship management (CRM). Field service management solutions have begun to emerge that include scheduling—the bottom line is that intelligent scheduling helps to ensure that paying clients are happy with the service that they receive. Read the rest of this entry »
About the only thing that gets us more excited than analytics is predictive analytics, and so when we saw an IBM press release entitled “IBM Introduces Predictive Analytics Software and Services that Forecast Asset Failure,” we knew we had to ask some questions about a new IBM offering called Predictive Analytics Optimization (PAO). TEC went right to the source, and spoke with IBM’s director of business analytics strategy, Erick Brethenoux, to find out more. Read the rest of this entry »
Commodity value chain and supply chain planning (SCP) software apps merged yesterday when Triple Point Technology acquired WAM Systems. Triple Point is a global provider of cloud and on-premises commodity management software that delivers advanced analytics for optimizing end-to-end commodity and energy value chains. Its solutions manage volatile commodity trading, procurement, enterprise risk management, logistics, scheduling, storage/inventory, processing, settlement, and accounting. More than 400 customers in over 35 countries across industries including energy, metals, minerals, chemicals, agriculture, shipping, consumer products, food and beverage, retail, and manufacturing depend on Triple Point solutions. Read the rest of this entry »
In November 2012, Revionics, Inc., a cloud-based provider of merchandise optimization solutions, acquired SkuLoop, a provider of social commerce-driven promotions for retailers and consumer brands, from GIIV, Inc. Revionics’ solutions use predictive analytics and demand-based science to help retailers obtain the best results across all touchpoints in the multi-channel shopping realm—online, in-store, social, and mobile—by aiding with decisions in product, price, promotion, placement, and space allocation. Read the rest of this entry »
It was interesting and perhaps telling that on the so-called “Super Tuesday” on March 6, 2012, when the Republican (GOP) presidential candidates were duking it out in 10 US states, two once-fierce competitors in the spare parts planning & optimization (SPP/O) space decided to merge instead of continuing to bludgeon each other. Indeed, Servigistics and MCA Solutions have competed for virtually every major deal in the space since their inceptions over a decade ago.
The NY Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox or LA Lakers vs. Boston Celtics sports rivalry analogies could describe the software rivalry here: there was never any love lost in the process, and the companies and their staffers were monitoring each other keenly (and crowing over each other’s occasional misfortunes or missteps).
Part 1 of this blog series started with a discussion of the fact that the ability to sense demand and become a demand-driven (responsive) business is more than just the catch phrase du jour: it has become a recipe for survival. For the past few decades, the providers of a multiplicity of by-and-large integrated manufacturing software solutions have been offering help for embattled manufacturers. From fully integrated business management systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) down to more focused modular plant-level solutions, including Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), and Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) systems, manufacturers have been perplexed by how to best combine and deploy these options and islands of information.
My posting concluded that ERP systems are good for long-term planning and transactional accounting, but not necessarily appropriate for scheduling and execution on the shop floor. Only those companies that have infinite (or lots to spare) capacity, low product mix, high customer tolerance for long order lead times, and low inventory holding costs could get by using ERP for scheduling.
In other words, not many manufacturers can be fully satisfied by ERP. The next logical question was whether Lean Manufacturing practices could alleviate the abovementioned ERP shortfalls. Part 2 then acknowledged that lean ERP capabilities are well suited for producing parts with level demand (so-called “runners” in Preactor’s apt lingo) but not necessarily for parts with variable demands and make-to-order (MTO) traits (so-called “repeaters” and “strangers”).
This realization has created a coming-of-age environment for APS systems, whose first generation of products a decade ago has had their share of mixed results. The final part of this series will analyze how APS, as a manufacturing glue of sorts, relates to ERP, lean manufacturing, and MES. Is there a value proposition for integrating all these disparate systems?
Part 1 of this blog series started with the fact that the ability to sense demand and become a demand-driven (responsive) business is more than just the catch phrase du jour: it has become a recipe for survival. Every sensible enterprise is on a quest to deliver on time and as quickly as necessary, with minimum inventory (and working capital), and the highest necessary utilization.
For a few decades, the providers of a multiplicity of by and large integrated manufacturing software solutions have been offering help for embattled manufacturers. From fully integrated business management systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) down to more focused modular plant-level solutions including Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), and Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) systems, manufacturers have been perplexed with how best to combine and deploy these options and islands of information.
The article concluded that ERP systems are good for planning and transactional accounting purposes, but not necessarily appropriate for scheduling and execution on the shop floor. Only those companies that have infinite (or lots of spare) capacity, low product mix, their customers’ tolerance for long order lead times, and low inventory holding costs could get by using ERP for scheduling.
In other words, not many manufacturers can be fully satisfied by ERP. The next logical question is whether Lean Manufacturing practices can alleviate the abovementioned ERP shortfalls.
Labor management systems (LMSs) are used primarily as a way for distribution operations to manage and track its labor activities. This includes real-time interaction with warehouse management and warehouse control systems in order to collect data on what workers are doing, how many locations they have visited, what inventory they have handled, what equipment they have used, and what paths they have traveled.
Most often used within the supply chain, an LMS helps a distribution operation improve worker productivity by providing the ability to
• report on all labor activity;
• compare labor activity to historical data; and
• report labor activity against established labor standards. Read the rest of this entry »